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Tuesday, 13 August, 2002, 09:32 GMT 10:32 UK
Referee could sue over attack
The Springbok supporter is escorted off the field
Pieter van Zyl has been charged with assault
Irish referee David McHugh is considering legal action against the Springbok fan who dislocated his shoulder during a Tri-Nations match in Durban.

McHugh was wrestled to the ground early in the second half of South Africa's game against New Zealand by Pieter van Zyl, 42, from Potchefstroom.

The mining engineer faces a charge of causing grievous bodily harm and has been released on bail until 9 September.

Meanwhile, New Zealand referee Paddy O'Brien has no concerns ahead of Saturday's Tri-Nations game between South Africa and Australia.

O'Brien will officiate the final match of the southern hemisphere series in Johannesburg.

But he insists is not worried about his safety.


I have other worries - to make sure I referee well
Paddy O'Brien

Van Zyl evaded 419 security officials to launch his assault on McHugh, who was forced to leave in a Test the All Blacks won 30-23.

But O'Brien said it was important not to get too carried away with what he described as an isolated incident.

"I'm not worried at all. I have a lot of faith in the South African Rugby Union and the actions they will take," he said.

"I have other worries - to make sure I referee well."

Paul Honiss, another New Zealand referee, said he hoped the incident would not alter the atmosphere at future Tri-Nations games too much.

"Obviously, the South Africans are completely embarrassed by the whole affair. I just hope we don't have the exterior of the field completely bombarded by security people.

"People are there, they've paid good money, they want to watch the game without having their view interrupted."


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